Other Names for this Disease
- Dowling-Degos Kitamura disease
- Kitamura reticulate acropigmentation
- Reticular pigment anomaly of flexures
- Reticulate acropigmentation of Kitamura
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Dowling-Degos disease is characterized by a lacy or net-like (reticulate) pattern of abnormally dark skin coloring (hyperpigmentation), particularly in the body's folds and creases. These skin changes typically first appear in the armpits and groin area and can later spread to other skin folds such as the crook of the elbow and back of the knee. Less commonly, pigmentation changes can also occur on the wrist, back of the hand, face, scalp, scrotum (in males), and vulva (in females). These areas of hyperpigmentation are not affected by exposure to sunlight.
Individuals with Dowling-Degos disease may also have dark lesions on the face and back that resemble blackheads, red bumps around the mouth that resemble acne, or depressed or pitted scars on the face similar to acne scars but with no history of acne. Cysts within the hair follicle (pilar cysts) may develop, most commonly on the scalp. Rarely, affected individuals have patches of skin that are unusually light in color (hypopigmented).
The pigmentation changes characteristic of Dowling-Degos disease typically begin in late childhood or in adolescence, although in some individuals, features of the condition do not appear until adulthood. New areas of hyperpigmentation tend to develop over time, and the other skin lesions tend to increase in number as well. While the skin changes caused by Dowling-Degos disease can be bothersome, they typically cause no health problems.
The Human Phenotype Ontology provides the following list of signs and symptoms for Dowling-Degos disease. If the information is available, the table below includes how often the symptom is seen in people with this condition. You can use the MedlinePlus Medical Dictionary to look up the definitions for these medical terms.
|Signs and Symptoms||Approximate number of patients (when available)|
|Autosomal dominant inheritance||-|
|Progressive reticulate hyperpigmentation||-|
The Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) has collected information on how often a sign or symptom occurs in a condition. Much of this information comes from Orphanet, a European rare disease database. The frequency of a sign or symptom is usually listed as a rough estimate of the percentage of patients who have that feature.
The frequency may also be listed as a fraction. The first number of the fraction is how many people had the symptom, and the second number is the total number of people who were examined in one study. For example, a frequency of 25/25 means that in a study of 25 people all patients were found to have that symptom. Because these frequencies are based on a specific study, the fractions may be different if another group of patients are examined.
Sometimes, no information on frequency is available. In these cases, the sign or symptom may be rare or common.
- Dowling-Degos disease. Genetics Home Reference (GHR). November 2012; http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/dowling-degos-disease. Accessed 2/4/2013.